10 Signs That You’re a Free Spirit
When we think of the term, “free spirit,” we imagine a person who steers their own course in life, unencumbered by common burdens or concerns. Some look at those who identify as free spirits as being irresponsible or childish, though this mindset offers lessons to inform us how we can live life on our own terms.
If you’re someone who considers yourself an independent thinker or doer, who pushes against society’s envelope and is deeply committed to finding your own path, you may be a free spirit. Are you curious as to whether the free spirit path is for you?
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Ten Signs You’re A Real Free Spirit
If you identify with any of these signs, chances are you have a free spirit waiting to be let loose into the world!
1. You’re Independent-Minded
Independent people thrive on listening to their own voices, regardless of the situation or circumstance. This key personality trait of the free spirit is a common one in innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative artists, as an independent streak also relies on a strong foundation and belief in oneself.
Are you the person in the room who always finds a new way of looking at things? Free spirits defy expectations and will always see the unexpected in equally unlikely ways. These kinds of thinkers can be great assets on a creative team, as they will always find a new way to look at an idea. Free spirits are also incredible advocates for innovation, as they are not afraid to stand up and for their ideas, no matter how much it veers from the rest of the crowd.
2. Fear Doesn’t Stop You
Dale Carnegie said, “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” Free spirits feel fear, but they don’t allow that feeling to be something that stops them. Instead, a free spirit will work through the fear and let it serve as a motivating factor. In fact, most free spirits will tell you that any success is not worth having unless it’s achieved with a healthy dose of moving through fear.
3. You Have a Strong Spine.
While it can be said that free spirits go with the flow of life, they accomplish it with a healthy and strong sense of self. This translates into living with intention and purpose and one that is not defined by anyone else. A free spirit walks the talk and in many cases, creates the language that makes up the talk.
4. Free From Attachment
To live as a free spirit, one has to be willing to let go, or walk away from the things that might weigh others down such as conventional relationships, careers, and other traditional trappings of modern life.
You might find a free spirit selling their material goods and living in a van, or not staying tethered to one place for very long. Or perhaps a free spirit may choose to live simply with a commitment to not participating in consumerism. Minimalism is often a choice of free spirits as this lifestyle embodies freedom from many of the things that weigh us down. Free spirits enjoy their own company and thrive on solo time, and putting themselves first.
5. Adventure is Your Middle Name.
Actually, if you’re a free spirit, adventure is your first, last, and middle name.
You thirst for new places, people, food, and experiences, so much so that you’re more often than not packing a backpack to head off to places unknown by anyone else.
Chances are pretty high that you value experiences over material possessions, and devote a significant portion of your income to travel and adventure.
6. You Need Space
Do you often feel claustrophobic in indoor spaces, or choose to occupy your own space? Do you need time off from other people? Free spirits are able to sustain long periods of “alone” time and often feel hemmed in by an office, similar workspaces, or even living arrangments.
7. You Have Your Own Sense of Time
Free spirits have their own internal clock, developing an intuitive sense of time that best suits those not tethered to a time clock or regular working hours. They thrive on coming and going as they decide, rather determined by others.
8. You’re a Daydream Believer
Dream big, dream often is the free spirit’s mantra, as well as vision boards, brainstorming, and being an advocate for others to follow their passions. A free spirit friend can be a wonderful support system and role model for others to live with more purpose.
9. You’re Not a Hippie Wannabe
Some of the most successful people today that we emulate are free spirits. Think of Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, or those creative artists who expect the extraordinary as their day-to-day reality and whose free spirit energy has resulted in innovations with lasting impacts.
10. You Love Learning and Life
Free spirits thirst for knowledge, whether that is another language, a new cooking skill, or a second (or third) career. Not willing to settle for regularity, free spirits seek out the new as how they live their life.
Being a free spirit is not limited to gender, race, sexuality, or religion. Many cultures also believe that free spirit energy is not only the realm of humans; animals and even objects can also represent and contain free spirit energy.
The most common animal associated with a free spirit is the wolf, a symbol of fierce independence, personal freedom, and living life with power and purpose. Other animals who embody this energy are felines (large and small), coyotes, horses, eagles, falcons, and dolphins/porpoises. Objects which represent a free spirit can range from crystals, amulets, feathers, triskelions, peregrinates, the moon, wings, open delta, or yin/yang and numbers, all of which are showing up in the form of artwork, home decor, personal altar objects, and even tattoos.
How to Access Your Free Spirit
Whether you call yourself a free spirit, are married to one or have a child with this energy, there is an abundance of tools to help you cultivate or support this valuable life resource. The number one free spirit attribute that all of us should cultivate is trust in oneself. A free spirit doesn’t question their decisions, ideas, actions, or people’s opinions, even in the face of possible failure. In fact, a free spirit will more likely go toward failure as that experience exemplifies what keeps them going – courage and being a nonconformist.
If you’ve ever dreamed of walking away from a safe, yet boring job to a less secure yet more thrilling adventure, your free spirit is talking to you. If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and listened to that small creative voice, your free spirit is aching to be heard.
Here are some concrete things you can do today to strengthen your free spirit:
- Get flexible. If you rely heavily on a set schedule, loosen the reins on it and see what innovation takes hold.
- Be here. Now. Spontaneity is the trademark of the free spirit. Whether it’s one day or one week, or one year, allow yourself to live in the moment from time-to-time. This can help you learn to go with the flow and learn the free spirit’s life lesson that letting go of control can be liberating.
- Embrace chaos. While being organized is all the rage these days, allowing a little bit of chaos into our otherwise orderly lives can result in more fun and flexibility, as well as a new way to look at our lives. If you spend an enormous amount of time organizing your home, your life, or your kids, it might be time to let go of overly organized or scheduled life. Allowing yourself to live with a healthy amount of mess can free you up for more free-spirited endeavors.
- Let your inner artist out. If you have always wanted to start a creative endeavor, but have held back, recognize that creativity is not only for “artists,” but can be a way to relieve stress and experience the beauty that is all around us and which free spirits see every day. Get that canvas out, write a poem, sing a song, or dance the night away and see what creativity can do for your heart, soul, and spirit.
- Be uniquely YOU. March to the beat of your own drum without much care as to what others think or do. Start with finding those who you look to as being free spirits and study them, then find your own path and most of all, enjoy the journey!
The good news is that living as a true free spirit is being more and more embraced in our society, with free spirit societies and gatherings providing a sense of camaraderie and support across the globe. Think of the students taking a gap year to volunteer, or the retiree starting a new career – the time is ripe to foster your free spirit energy so that you can live the best life of your choosing!
10 Reasons to Make Inner Peace a Priority
Inner peace is the eternal quest for seekers everywhere. What used to be a rather vague and ephemeral concept has since been backed by modern science as a worthwhile quest towards accessing better health and happiness.
If you’re wary about the real-life importance of making peace of mind a priority, you’re not alone. The monkey mind is a cultural norm and, for most people, daily life consists of a constant stream of chaotic thoughts based in the past or the future.
Rarely do people make the space for presence and the experience of simply being. But when you do, you’ll be astonished how life can shift from tumultuous to serene, from judgemental to accepting. You can find inner peace even in the midst of external chaos.
1. Increased Intelligence
Perhaps one of the most popular benefits that inner peace can bring is the potential to grow your brain, literally. A study done at Harvard University showed that people who practiced mindfulness meditation (quick definition: accepting and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment) increased the thickness of their prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions, planning, decision making, and regulating social behavior. Just eight weeks of regular meditation practice also shows increased gray matter in MRI scans.
Turns out that seeking peace helps you gain greater intelligence and a stronger, healthier brain.
2. Rewire Your Brain for Positive Feedback Loops
You can change your brain and it’s as easy as being aware of the transience of every experience. Most people go into a fight or flight stress state at least a few times a day, but when peace is your primary pathway you can change that mental habit.
This is because our unconscious thoughts and worries (aka the monkey mind) engage the amygdala, the reptilian part of our brains responsible for keeping us alive in dangerous situations. When the amygdala is engaged we experience anxiety, tension, faster heart rate, and poor digestion, all things modern humans are very familiar with.
When peace is the primary pathway you can consciously comfort your amygdala with the assurance that all is well and the world is NOT ending. Because our brains are plastic and changeable you can change the tendency to activate the amygdala and remain calm even in the midst of chaos.
3. Grow Your Compassion Muscle
The Dalai Lama says that “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Yet often we’re too absorbed in our busy lives to experience wholehearted compassion for both ourselves and our fellow humans.
A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that the practice of meditation and the allowing and acceptance that comes along with it increases the internal experience of compassion. Another study showed this affects the brain even when you’re not actively engaged in meditation.